Parenting

Dad's Struggle To Change Son’s Diaper In Men's Room Raises Calls For Parity

Donte Palmer said fathers "need to be seen as equal" with changing tables in men's restrooms.
10/02/2018 07:30am ET

A Florida father is calling for diaper-changing tables to be installed in men’s restrooms after he was forced to squat on the floor of a public bathroom to change his son’s diaper.

Donte Palmer asked in an Instagram post “what’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathrooms as if we don’t exist!!” It was subsequently reposted by The Shade Room, and has since amassed more than 550,000 likes.

The lack of changing tables in men’s restrooms shows an outdated view of parental roles, Palmer said. Fathers, he told BuzzFeed News, “need to be seen as an equal.”

“We’re more than just protectors and providers,” he said. “We’re the stroller pushers [who] get up at 4 a.m. to warm bottles.”

He continued: “My wife and I, we share everything equally. We cook and clean. We work hard – equally. Why do we share equal responsibility but society views us differently?”

Palmer’s gripe is familiar to many fathers.

A U.S. law requiring changing tables in both men’s and women’s restrooms in publicly accessible federal buildings was signed by then-President Barack Obama in 2016.

In 2015, the actor Ashton Kutcher famously lamented the lack of changing tables in men’s restrooms and launched a Change.org campaign to call for businesses to provide them. Many, especially large chain stores, now do.

In August, Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons committed to installing changing tables in men’s bathrooms after a teacher, Chris Webb, made a complaint on Twitter.

Suggest a correction